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Understanding your rights

You and your child have a wide range of legal rights to protect you and make sure you aren’t treated unfairly because of your child’s deafness. For example, you and your deaf child have the right:

  • not to be discriminated against
  • for reasonable adjustments to be made so that your child can access services that are available to the public, such as nursery, school, college, public transport, GP and so on.
  • to have an assessment of your child’s social care needs by local disabled children’s services
  • to request an assessment of your child’s special or additional educational needs.

Knowing what your legal rights are can help make sure that you and your child get the support you need at school, at home, in the workplace and in the community.

Sometimes just showing that you're aware of your legal rights may mean that the local council (or whichever service or system you’re working with) will take you more seriously.

Understanding what your legal rights are isn’t straightforward though. This is because the law isn’t always very specific about what should happen. For example, while reasonable adjustments must be made to support your child, the law doesn’t say what reasonable means.

That’s why we’ve included information on what we think you have a ‘right to expect’ from services like education and audiology, as well as details of legally-protected rights.

We’re here to help you exercise your rights and make sure your child gets the best possible support.

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more about your rights, and the rights of your deaf child, you could take part in our Expert Parent Programme, join a local deaf children’s society group or contact our Freephone Helpline.

Expert Parent Programme

We’ve worked with the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) to adapt their Expert Parent Programme to meet the needs of parents of deaf children in England. The Programme is led by other parents and aims to give parents the skills and knowledge to advocate for their child to make sure they get the best support possible.

Find out more about the Expert Parent Programme and dates of upcoming courses or email expert.parent@ndcs.org.uk if you have any questions.

Local groups

Joining a local group can be a great way of finding out more about your rights and the support your child might be entitled to. You can learn from the experiences of other parents, and get details on local services.

We have over 100 local groups across the UK – find your nearest group